February 4, 2012
Legarda: Awareness and Early Detection
As nations observe World Cancer Day today (February 4), Senator Loren Legarda emphasized the importance of raising awareness on the causes of cancer and effective ways to prevent acquiring the disease.
Legarda, whose mother Bessie Bautista Legarda died of breast cancer, said that while in several instances cancer patients remain perplexed as to how they acquired the disease, regular check-up would certainly help early detection of cancer, thus preventing it from reaching the higher stages when chances of survival are already small.
Statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) reveal that cancer is a leading cause of death around the world, accounting for 7.6 million or 13% of all deaths in 2008, and it is expected to continuously rise to an estimated 13.1 million deaths in 2030.
"My mother's death caused us, her family, so much pain. But that pain developed into a new sense of strength for me. I found it important to raise awareness about cancer," Legarda said.
"Many studies have indicated that cancer-causing chemicals found in our body are most likely to have come from the food that we eat, water that we drink and the air that we breathe. These are the information we want to give out to people to help them avoid acquiring the disease," she stressed.
In memory of her late mother, Legarda established the Bessie B. Legarda Memorial Foundation (BBLMF), which helps indigent breast cancer patients and conducts medical missions with fellow breast cancer awareness advocates in different parts of the country.
The BBLMF medical missions benefit not only breast cancer patients but also women who are not yet victims of breast cancer by giving mammography and other related services.
"I wanted to encourage individuals, especially women who are struggling with cancer, that they should not be controlled by their sickness, instead, they must take control of the disease by using it as their source of strength to do greater things," Legarda said.
"Filipino families need not lose another parent, child, or a sibling to cancer if only they are equipped with the right knowledge and have access to medical resources. The BBLMF aims to be at the forefront of this mission," Legarda concluded.
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